Let’s Listen to the Sustainability Generation
Our Next Generation Employee Resource Group’s sole responsibility is to help cultivate the talent of (and also learn from) young professionals across our team at Samsung. Activities from our Next Generation Leaders are often focused on networking, community outreach, and workplace culture.
This week the group convened an all-star panel to share insights around how Gen Z and Millennials are engaging in sustainable lifestyle habits. The panelists also discussed how companies can better attract and retain these professionals both as talent and as customers, and ways that brands can build meaningful change.
Wish you were there? Don’t worry – here are some key takeaways from our panelists, and what they said.
Sustainability is important to us at Samsung
“According to the Stanford Social Innovation Review, more than 90% of CEOs state that sustainability is important to their company’s success. Our CEO KS Choi, as you all know, is very passionate about this. He’s challenging all of our senior leaders to integrate sustainability into their business plans. It’s a really exciting time to be here at Samsung and have a leader that is informed and inspired in this space.” – Mark Newton, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Samsung Electronics America
Sustainability is only achieved through diversity and inclusion
“Social justice and environmental justice are one and the same. Communities that are struggling with some of the social issues that have been at the forefront lately are also the ones that are most at risk. We have an opportunity to really integrate our messaging so that when we talk about environmental responsibility, we also bring in the reason why it matters.” – Mark Newton, Head of Corporate Sustainability at Samsung Electronics America
“Social justice and environmental justice are one and the same.”
“‘Environmental sustainability’ as a term has broadened in the last couple of years. We’re not just talking about ensuring that the ways we live can provide for future generations in terms of natural resources – we’re also looking at the importance of equality for leaving this space in a better place. How do we ensure equality across the board for Frontline communities?” – Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President & CEO, National Environmental Education Foundation
“The solution to the challenges we face can only be realized when we all come to the table.”
Gen Z and Millennials take responsibility seriously
“Gen Z and Millennials are more environmentally responsible, socially aware, and health-conscious. Millennials are also paying attention to how they can implement the UN Sustainable Development Goals in their roles. They’re embracing experiences and ethical spending.Millennials are also putting their money into socially responsible investments or impact investing.” – Puja Patel, Samsung Intern & Global MBA student and Forté Fellow at The George Washington University
“So if you are doing your part, they’re going to do their research.”
It’s time for all of us to turn our ideas into actions
“We were really inspired by Solve for Tomorrow, so my students and I actually developed a new course for our high school called XR for Social Good . The course takes the same project-based learning and design thinking principles and uses technology – specifically virtual and augmented and mixed realities – to create projects that will help causes like social justice, the climate crisis, sustainability… any project that they can think of. And we also created a club where we enlisted members of our community to come in and work on these projects and create technology solutions for sustainability with us.” – Azine Davoudzadeh, AP Computer Science Educator, Dougherty Valley HS – Solve For Tomorrow National Winning Teacher 2020 Azine Davoudzadeh
“Climate change is already happening and that’s why people refer to it as a ‘climate crisis.’ The time to act is really now. Baby Boomers and Gen X can get more involved by educating themselves in smart and clean energy policies, supporting environmental regulations, getting involved in different programs and advocacy efforts, and talking more frequently about the climate crisis to build more awareness with their family and their peers. Other ways are to reduce emissions, save energy, implement the three R’s (reduce, reuse, and recycle), and take action to save our forests and our oceans. The solutions to the challenges we face can only be realized when we all come to the table.” – Puja Patel, Samsung Intern & Global MBA student and Forté Fellow at The George Washington University
Gen Z and Millennials research and hold companies accountable
“Gen Z and Millennials are very responsible, and they’re holding companies accountable. So if you are doing your part, they’re going to do their research. And now with the internet, you can easily find out if a company is environmentally friendly, or in alignment with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.” – Azine Davoudzadeh, AP Computer Science Educator, Dougherty Valley HS – Solve For Tomorrow National Winning Teacher 2020
It’s all about authenticity, and continuing the conversation
“For me, I knew that Samsung is a global brand. Samsung is serious about corporate social responsibility, and sustainability. They have an incredible supply chain. They’re very active with communities locally and globally. Samsung is also invested in Millennials and Gen Zs and recruiting that young talent, whether it’s for full-time positions, or internships. When I first was connected to a GW alum who is a current Samsung employee, he was just very down-to-earth and willing to share his experiences at Samsung. And it didn’t stop there. He offered to help, onceI got an interview. He sent me a message during the first week of my internship. It’s a very warm, welcoming culture, and I experience that before I even started the internship. And as we go into the internship throughout the summer, I know I’ll have a strong sense of community.” – Puja Patel, Samsung Intern & Global MBA student and Forté Fellow at The George Washington University
“It’s making sure that we’re educating people in an authentic way that is relevant to their lives. It’s also leveraging social media to tell their stories, highlight innovations, and share what they are currently doing to create a more sustainable world for all of us.” – Meri-Margaret Deoudes, President & CEO, National Environmental Education Foundation